07 January 2010

President Obama's transgender appointee

This is old news by now, but I am posting now due to my absolute halt in blogging for the past several weeks.

President Barack Obama has named Amanda Simpson of Tucson, Arizona, as Senior Technical Advisor for the Bureau of Industry and Security at the US Department of Commerce. This is the first time that a transgender person has ever been appointed to a high-level US federal government position.

Amanda Simpson has been a fixture in Tucson for a long time; her work at Raytheon was outstanding, and it was she who led the way toward Raytheon having a consistent policy toward its transgender employees, and toward a greater awareness of trans issues in Tucson, one of the early cities that enacted trans protections. When I lived in Tucson in my 2001 poverty days, I was able to meet with Amanda on a monthly basis, and she was trying hard to translate her technical skills at Raytheon into something that could be of use toward trans activism. At that time, she was also giving interviews to the local CBS affiliate so that the rest of Tucson would have a better understanding of its trans community.

Although President Obama has been very slow in turning his "change" mantra into actual results, this is one extremely positive development. Of course, the Religious Right's objections are loud, but it bears remembering that it is Amanda's work that helped Raytheon develop weapons that now protect America from those terrorist infidels overseas, and only goes on to prove that the Religious Right is pro-infidels and anti-American in wanting to impose theocracy.

I had lost touch with Amanda for years, but currently I am friends with her again by way of Facebook, and getting updates on her adjustment to life in DC and the federal government. Glad to follow her life real-time that way. And when it comes to Perfect Girl, Amanda and Sarah share one common trait: love of aviation. One of Amanda's roles at Raytheon was a test pilot, and although I don't think Sarah ever pilots airplanes in real life, she certainly has a healthy interest in piloting, and I've made her a top-notch armchair pilot. If the two ever meet, they could have a field day talking about piloting.

Wishing Amanda all the best!

No comments: